What Pakistan has to realise is that, even as the people of Pakistan think of China as their perennial friend, Al Qaeda thinks of China as an obstacle in their project of dominating the state of Pakistan. Unfortunately, not many people look at Al Qaeda from this perspective. China has a strategic interest in Pakistan but it is more economic than military. China is deeply involved in the Gwadar development project and looks at the new gas pipelines and road connections with the oil-rich region of the Gulf with great interest. Pakistan realises this too and often there are futuristic statements about how China will rely on the trading corridor of Pakistan for its energy demands. But most politicians are not intellectually prepared to abandon their warlike projections to think in trading terms. In their minds China and America are locked in a potentially military standoff in Pakistan. But China is more likely to help Pakistan out of its current crisis because of Pakistan’s trading potential than its capacity to go to war.